Finding (inexpensive) European-spec headlights?

Galro

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Hello.

I have an old Bmw e3 that basically stood abandoned for half a decade and which I am now trying to get running again. One of the headlights is badly corroded, so I need to find a new one to achieve that. From what I gather it’s this part here that I need. The problem is though that I think the price offered by wallothneschs is very high and iit gets even more expensive when you add shipping to Norway on to it.

I was therefore wondering if anyone here knew of any cheaper sources for that part? And is this a part that is specific to this car or did Bosch (the manufacturer of my headlights) make them for other cars too?

Also I can’t find some of screws that are supposed to keep the headlight assembly together, so I was wondering if anyone knew where to buy new replacements for that too?

A rather poor quality picture showing the screws I am after (I also need the black "tops"):

IMG_20200809_180921.jpg
 

rsporsche

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Hella and Cibie are both e code lamps. there are 2 versions of the low beam, the h4 typically used in the USA which isn't as good as the h1 with city light ...
 

HB Chris

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Hella and Cibie are both e code lamps. there are 2 versions of the low beam, the h4 typically used in the USA which isn't as good as the h1 with city light ...
I don’t know that I can tell the difference in my my former H4 Hellas with my converted H1 low with city light. It is only 55 vs 60w. Lens is slightly different as I recall.
 

rsporsche

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i have seen a difference in the light pattern from the h1 vs the h4 ... even with the same wattage. i do prefer the light output / pattern from the cibie more than the hella.
 

Galro

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Hella and Cibie are both e code lamps. there are 2 versions of the low beam, the h4 typically used in the USA which isn't as good as the h1 with city light ...
Mine are marked H4 so that's the type I am looking for then. It's not really important for me which one works the best as I'm probably not going to drive it during the night anyway. I just want it to pass inspection and be legal to drive.

I actually got another pair of new headlights for the car (at least that was what I was told) that I bought by mistake a few years ago, as I didn't realise at the time that there were more than one type. The problem though is that they have different connections and bulb placements. And I don't want to mess with that as I have absolutely no clue about electronics.

Here are two I got side by side:
headlights.jpg
 

rsporsche

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the old one was the H1 with city light. the new one looks like a holder for the h1 bulb
 

rsporsche

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he h4 has a 3 prong wire connector and the h1 has a rectangular connector as i remember
 

Galro

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the old one was the H1 with city light. the new one looks like a holder for the h1 bulb
Are you sure? Because it is labelled H4 on the glass. Here is a picture showing the front (the camera struggled to focus on the glass though):

IMG_20200810_195452.jpg

But do you know if headlights I linked to in the first post will fit my car?
 

rsporsche

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they will all fit in your car, its whether they will plug in without a wiring connector change or adapter. the old one may be H4, but that hole in the side is for a city light ... perhaps they drilled it to keep the city light. the new one says that it is for H1 on the white label. take a picture of both plugs on the headlight wiring on your car.
 

Galro

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Sorry for the late reply, but I have now taken a couple of pictures of the car itself. It don't appear like there are the "city lights" on the car itself though. Does that mean that the other headlights I already have will fit (see picture above)?

IMG_20200812_143821.jpgIMG_20200812_143830.jpgIMG_20200812_143836.jpg
 

HB Chris

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Going back to your post with two photos in it, the left one is a standard outboard lo/hi H4 bulb just like we use in the US. The one on the right is a euro outboard lo beam single filament H1 bulb With city light. I thought all euro cars had H1 lo with city light and H1 hi lamps, they use the same bulb but the lens is different. The column stalk to activate the different lamps is also unique as the H1 lo beam needs to stay on when the H1 hi beam is selected. On an H4 lamp the 55w lo filament goes off and the 60w hi filament turns on when hi beam is selected. Do the front turn signals light up when the parking light position is turned on? I assume euro coupes with 4w city light don’t have a parking light in the turn signal housing but maybe I’m wrong.

Since you obviously have an H4 bulb in your last pic any H4 bulb will work in the H4 lamp housing/holder. You have one good headlight, turn it on, does it have the 4W city light in it? If not buy an H4 lamp without city light. If the lamp and lens are good you only need a new H4 bulb.
 

Galro

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Hi
Looks like the common H4 bulb. Does it have 2 filaments and a 3 prong connection? H1 have a single filament and single connection.
I looked at it again and it definitively had three connections.

I have the 4 bolts and black caps if you still need them.
Thanks for the offer. That's very kind of you. However I have already ordered the parts from my local BMW dealer now as they apparently still stocks it. I just forgot to mention it in my previous post.

Going back to your post with two photos in it, the left one is a standard outboard lo/hi H4 bulb just like we use in the US. The one on the right is a euro outboard lo beam single filament H1 bulb With city light. I thought all euro cars had H1 lo with city light and H1 hi lamps, they use the same bulb but the lens is different. The column stalk to activate the different lamps is also unique as the H1 lo beam needs to stay on when the H1 hi beam is selected. On an H4 lamp the 55w lo filament goes off and the 60w hi filament turns on when hi beam is selected. Do the front turn signals light up when the parking light position is turned on? I assume euro coupes with 4w city light don’t have a parking light in the turn signal housing but maybe I’m wrong.

Since you obviously have an H4 bulb in your last pic any H4 bulb will work in the H4 lamp housing/holder. You have one good headlight, turn it on, does it have the 4W city light in it? If not buy an H4 lamp without city light. If the lamp and lens are good you only need a new H4 bulb.
Unfortunately I won't be able to start it right now. You see the car have stood dormant and partly disassembled for five year now or something like. The reason I have started on "my little project" here is because won't have the space it have occupied for much longer, so something needs to be done. I was originally planning on just selling it. However I thought it looked more solid than I remembered it after having inspected it, so I thought it would give it a attempt to get in working order first instead. The problem is that there are a whole bunch of loose wiring (some of which appears to be the electrical ground) in the car that I need to get a hold of before I try starting it. I have frankly no idea of how to do that and I was thinking of making a thread about here later, I just thought I would clarify what headlights I needed first as I believe that's the only replacement part I need to order.
 
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